Yellowstone Airport Winter Activities
January 1, 2023
Yellowstone Airport (WYS) has operated seasonally in the warm months of the year since its inception in 1964. The subarctic winters and incredible snow accumulations have prevented the airport from operating year-round. Rather than leave the airport dormant for its winter slumber, the airport hosts many different non-aeronautical winter activities and receives additional income through these activities.
Because the runway is not available for aviation purposes during the winter months, it makes an ideal location to conduct cold weather vehicle and equipment testing. Tires, snowblowers, snowmobiles, and automobiles have been tested at the airport in the past. WYS is the perfect location for testing items under extreme conditions due to its predictable high snow levels and frigid cold temperatures.
The additional revenue aids in the airport's pursuit of self-sustainability, as required by the FAA. While the airport may only be open to the flying public during the summer, it must be able to invest and maintain infrastructure and operations the same as a year-round facility.